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Dr. Brad Berk riding bike
URMC / University of Rochester Neurorestoration Institute

University of Rochester Neurorestoration Institute (URNI)

In 2009, then CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. suffered a severe spinal cord injury. His story of recovery — Berk returned to his post eight months later and has regained much neurological function — and perseverance has served as an inspiration to countless individuals who suffer from spinal cord injury.

As director of the University of Rochester Neurorestoration Institute’s advanced approach to treating acute neurological injuries (due to stroke, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury), I want to share what we’ve learned about how the injured individual can get 'back to life.'
~Bradford Berk, M.D., Ph.D.

Berk’s perspective as a health care leader, physician, and a spinal cord injury patient has provided him with unique insight into the shortcomings and opportunities that exist in how we currently provide care and support to individuals (and their families) with chronic neurologic diseases. Fueled with the same determination and passion that enabled him to overcome his injury, in January 2015, Berk stepped down from his role as CEO to lead a new initiative that will make Rochester a national center for the rehabilitation of individuals with chronic neurologic diseases to improve their function and state of well-being.

Mission of the URNI

To bring the highest quality and most innovative approaches to restore function in individuals who have suffered damage to their brain, spinal cord, and/or peripheral nerves.

Vision of the URNI

To be a national destination for rehabilitation of people with chronic neurologic conditions, and a center for excellence in research on restoration of cognitive, motor, and sensory function.

Programs of Excellence

These programs will make URNI a national destination center:

  • Devices: Exoskeletons, robotics, nerve-stimulators, adaptive and recreational devices
  • Pain: Drugs, devices, integrative medicine
  • Stem Cells: Transplant and novel drugs
  • Neuroplasticity: Cognitive, sensory (vision, hearing, smell, touch, taste) and motor restoration
  • Integrative Medicine: Acupuncture, hypnotherapy, massage, mindfulness, nutrition, tai chi, and yoga
Man smiling

Clinical Care

Our mission at URNI is to provide the highest quality multidisciplinary care to patients who have experienced stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), and peripheral nerve injury.

Dr. Berk using In-Motion device

Research & Clinical Trials

The URNI fosters programs of research in collaboration with investigators in the Del Monte Institute of Neuroscience and across the University of Rochester that lead to translational research studies and clinical trials.

Students

Education & Advocacy

The URNI is training the next generation of clinicians and researchers who will become leaders in the field of neurorestoration.

URNI: The Future

The future of the URNI is exciting as we continue to fulfill our mission while looking ahead to new goals that will greatly improve the lives of patients with chronic neurologic conditions.

Our Goals Include:  

  • Opening a multi-specialty clinic for acute neurological injuries (ANI)
  • Expanding the TBI in-patient unit and ambulatory clinic
  • Participating in clinical trials of spinal cord stimulators for walking, improved sensation, and pain relief
  • Enlarging the pain research center to include dentistry, anesthesiology, and neurosurgery, neurology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Developing a comprehensive strategic plan with other departments and new URNI space in Clinton Crossings Building D
Dr. Bradford Berk

"I’m proof that you can get back to life after a catastrophic injury."

Dr. Bradford Berk

Dr. Berk's New Book

Dr. Bradford Berk's book coverGetting Your Brain & Body Back: Everything You Need to Know After Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, or Traumatic Brain Injury

This self-help book is for patients, families, and care givers of persons with acute neurological injuries (ANI). In Getting Your Brain & Body Back, Dr. Berk covers each system, offering up-to-date guidance on recovery, treatment, and daily living. Survivors and families will learn how to prevent common problems, find (and pay for) life-changing rehab, ward off depression, return to work, and much more. By sharing candid advice from his own experience, plus insights from the brightest minds in the field, Dr. Berk helps others get back to life.

Learn more about Dr. Berk's new book and to order.

News

July 14, 2021

From URMC Newsroom: "Book Provides Roadmap for Recovery from Brain and Spinal Cord Injury"

July 26, 2021

From the Rochester Beacon: "Berk pens book with insights from a life-altering injury"

September 10, 2021

From Connections with Evan Dawson on WXXI: Connections: Dr. Bradford Berk on his new book, "Getting Your Brain & Body Back"